The Scuffle over ‘American Exceptionalism’

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Before the American Legion, Hillary Clinton sought to paint herself as the real patriot running for President by invoking “American exceptionalism,” a phrase that has caused much trouble and that Donald Trump disdains, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Belated Pushback on Saudis’ War on Yemen

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign against Yemen’s Houthi rebels has created a humanitarian crisis, with opposition finally emerging in Congress to the U.S. assistance in the bloodbath, writes Jonathan Marshall.

US Arms Makers Invest in a New Cold War

Lockheed-Martin's F-35 war plane.

Exclusive: Behind the U.S. media-political clamor for a new Cold War with Russia is a massive investment by the Military-Industrial Complex in “think tanks” and other propaganda outlets, writes Jonathan Marshall.

A US-Fueled Syrian Sectarian Bloodbath

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh on March 30, 2012. [State Department photo]

The Obama administration helped fuel a conflict in Syria that inevitably was going to degenerate into a sectarian bloodbath, a reckless strategy pushed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as Gareth Porter explains.

When Putin Bailed Out Obama

Earlier in the crisis over Syria, President Vladimir Putin of Russia welcomed President Barack Obama to the G20 Summit at Konstantinovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: As pressure again builds on President Obama to attack Syria and press a new Cold War with Russia, the extraordinary events of three years ago after a sarin attack near Damascus are worth revisiting, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

Trading Politics for Medical Profits

Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey performing "Money Makes the World Go Around" in the movie, "Cabaret."

Pay-to-play, the merger of politics and business, has many features including how to exploit political influence to maximize business profits even when children’s lives are at risk, says Michael Winship.

Obama’s Imperial Mideast Policy Unravels

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: President Obama’s Mideast policy is such a confusing mess that he is now supporting Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria although it’s primary target is not ISIS but another U.S. ally, the Kurds, explains Daniel Lazare.

Abu Zubaydah: Torture’s ‘Poster Child’

Guantanamo Bay prisoner Abu Zubaydah

Exclusive: The ugly legacy of George W. Bush’s torture program continues to haunt U.S. foreign policy as the “poster child” for waterboarding, Abu Zubaydah, makes an appeal for his release from Guantanamo, writes Marjorie Cohn.

The Dumbed-Down New York Times

New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)

Exclusive: A New York Times columnist writes Americans are so “dumbed-down” that they don’t know that Russia “invaded” Ukraine two years ago, but that “invasion” was mostly in the minds of Times editors and other propagandists, says Robert Parry.

California May Abolish the Death Penalty

A gurney used for  executions by lethal injection.

California voters will get a chance to abolish the state’s expensive and flawed death-penalty system, a step that could reduce America’s death-row population by almost a quarter, writes Marjorie Cohn.

The High Cost of American Hubris

The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Defense Department, as viewed with the Potomac River and Washington, D.C., in the background. (Defense Department photo)

Americans have paid a very high price for the Establishment’s imperial ambitions, a price passing a breaking point in blood and money, a problem that must be addressed with realism and humility, explains Natylie Baldwin.

Russia’s Misplayed Hand with Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 23, 2015 Tehran. (Photo from:

Iran’s annoyance that Russia over-played its hand in going public about its use of an Iranian airbase shows the risk of offending potential allies, a lesson that U.S. officials also need to learn, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Battle Over the Burkini

Swimwear for religiously observant Muslim women. (As advertised on Ebay)

Across the globe, cultural norms often clash with individual expression, from topless beaches in secular societies to gender-segregation in some religious places, with today’s clash over Muslim burkinis, observes ex-CIA official Graham E. Fuller.

What Israel’s Actions Have Wrought

In 1948, some Palestinians, uprooted by Israel's claims to their lands, relocated to the Jaramana Refugee Camp in Damascus, Syria

Israel’s repression of the Palestinians is often rationalized by the historical abuse of the Jews, but Israel’s misconduct is having the disturbing effect of stirring up new anti-Semitism, observes Lawrence Davidson.